Emmerdale star revealed as replacement for Jamie Laing on Strictly

Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher has been announced as the replacement for injured Jamie Laing on Strictly Come Dancing.

Sunday, 8th September 2019, 12:35 pm
Kelvin Fletcher will replace Jamie Laing on Strictly Come Dancing (Photo: Ian West/PA Wire)

The soap star, aged 35, will replace the Made In Chelsea star after he hurt himself during filming for Saturday night's pre-recorded launch show.

Best known for playing Andy Sugden on the ITV soap between 1996 and 2016, Fletcher will be paired with South African professional dancer Oti Mabuse.

-> Emmerdale actress sacked after offensive tweets unearthedHe will make his Strictly debut in the first live show on Saturday, September 21, which will see one couple booted from the programme in an early exit.

Fletcher, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, joins fellow soap stars Catherine Tyldesley, formerly of Coronation Street, and Emma Barton, from EastEnders, on the star-studded roster.

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He said: "Is this really happening? It's been the most surreal week of my life. I'm a massive fan of Strictly so it's incredible.

"I'm so happy that I can be a part of it. But at the same time it's quite bittersweet. I'm coming in on the back of Jamie's injury - I keep thinking about him.

"I can't imagine going through all this excitement and then having to pull out. My thoughts are with him - he seems like a fantastic guy and I hope he's doing OK."

Fletcher married his long-time girlfriend Liz Marsland in November 2015, and they have a daughter, born in 2016, and a son, born in 2018.

He debuted in Emmerdale in 1996, when his character arrived as Andy Hopwood, but was adopted by Jack and Sarah Sugden and became a permanent part of the Sugden family.

His final scenes saw him bid an emotional farewell to his brother Robert (Ryan Hawley) as a fugitive on the run, leaving behind his on-off girlfriend Bernice (Samantha Giles), who decided not to go with him.

He had discovered he had been framed by Chrissie White (Louise Marwood) for the murder of Lawrence White (John Bowe).

Well-known storylines over the years have included Sugden setting fire to the farm's barn, as well as a domestic abuse storyline and a plot which saw his brother shot.